Strange Facts You Didn’t Know About Thailand

You probably already know that Thailand is a fantastic travel destination that is known for its gorgeous beaches, sunny weather, ornate temples, fascinating culture and delicious food. However, even if you have been travelling in the country, you might not be aware of these interesting and strange facts about Thailand. Here are some intriguing things that you might not know about Thailand.

Strange Facts About Thailand

  • One tenth of all animal species discovered so far on earth live in Thailand. This biodiverse country is home to 925 bird species and 285 mammal species, so if you go for a trek you are sure to spot something!
  • Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia that has never been colonised by Europeans. The French colonised Indochina and the British took the Malay Peninsula, but Thailand has not been ruled by Europeans.
Strange Facts About Thailand: James Bond Island
James Bond Island: Photo Vyacheslav Argenberg / CC 2.0
  • In Thailand it is currently the year 2557. This is because the Thai people measure time from the date of Budda’s death, not the death of Christ. This means that they are 543 years ahead of the Gregorian calendar that we use.
  • Thailand is home to the most expensive religious artefact in the world. It is a 5.5 ton Golden Buddha and it is located at Wat Traimit in Bangkok. It is made of solid gold and it is worth approximately $225 million.
  • Touching the king or queen of Thailand or their spouse is a crime that is punishable by death. This fact led to a tragic tale in 1889, when one of the wives of the King of Thailand drowned in a boating accident because none of the nearby witnesses could touch her in order to save her.
  • There are over 1,400 islands within the territory of Thailand, which means that you will have plenty to choose from when you are planning your next vacation.
  • In Thailand it is illegal to leave the house without underwear on.
Strange Facts About Thailand: Gorgeous Railay
Gorgeous Railay: Photo Madeleine Deaton / CC 2.0
  • It is very impolite to point the soles of your feet at someone or at a temple, such as when you sit cross legged in a chair. This is because feet are considered to be spiritually “dirty”. Make sure that you pay attention to the position of your feel so that you avoid offending anyone.
  • The head is considered the most sacred part of the body and to touch someone on the head is very offensive.
  • Most Thai people believe in ghosts. It is typical to build a small spirit house when you buy a new home, so that the ghosts that occupy the house can have somewhere to live.
  • 95% of the population of Thailand identifies as Buddhist, making it one of the most Buddhist nations on Earth.
  • The King of Thailand was actually born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
  • Thailand exports more rice than any other country in the world.

These are just a few fascinating and strange facts about Thailand that you might not have known about. Are you getting ready to plan your next trip to this beautiful Southeast Asian country?

About Kelly Dunning


A Canadian freelance writer with a love of art, culture, literature and adventure, Kelly loves exploring foreign lands and expressing her experiences through the power of the written word. She and her English boyfriend Lee run, packed full with travel guides, stories and inspiration for those who dream of travel. They have been location independent and travelling the world digital-nomad style for the last three years, with no address, no car and no fixed schedule.

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